Bob Baffert Sued By Bettors Over Medina Spirit's Failed Drug Test At Kentucky Derby

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 14, 2021

Trainer Bob Baffert at a press conference after Medina Spirit won the 147th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday evening, awarding a seventh Kentucky Derby win to Baffert and a fourth to jockey John Velazquez. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A group of gamblers have filed a class-action lawsuit against trainer Bob Baffert after his 2021 Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test.

According to TMZ Sports, the plaintiffs said Baffert knowingly ran a "drugged horse" in the Kentucky Derby, costing them a large sum of money.

Per ESPN, Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone. Baffert denied any involvement in the horse receiving the steroid and expressed his belief that it was in a skin medication prescribed to Medina Spirit by a veterinarian.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said they placed significant bets on Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun, who remains the second-place horse despite Medina Spirit's positive test.

Specifically, plaintiff Michael E. Beychok said he bet $1,000 on Mandaloun and could've earned a payout between $10,000 and $100,000. Plaintiff Justin Wunderler said he bet $2,000 on Mandaloun with a minimum payout of $40,000.

One part of the lawsuit alleges there are conspiracies "between Baffert and other owners and/or trainers to commit the above-described acts to engage in illegal gambling and/or horse doping through a pattern of racketeering activity."

The suit also described Medina Spirit's win as being part of a "horse-doping scheme in thoroughbred racing."

Medina Spirit and Baffert's two other horses are subject to additional testing before Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Per ESPN, officials will ask Baffert to scratch Medina Spirit or his other horses, Concert Tour and Beautiful Gift, if betamethasone is detected in any of their samples.

Otherwise, Medina Spirit will be allowed to run in the Preakness. Medina Spirit and Baffert's other horses will be subject to additional testing, however.

Medina Spirit's win marked the seventh Kentucky Derby victory of Baffert's career as a trainer. He will go for Preakness win No. 8 at Pimlico on Saturday, and if Medina Spirit is victorious, Baffert could be a Belmont Stakes win away from his third Triple Crown if the Kentucky Derby victory is upheld.